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Talk:Andrew Snelling

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"Attack" or "criticism"?

Sterile changed "Snelling has been the focus of a number of attacks by anti-creationists..." to "Snelling has been the focus of criticism by anti-creationists..." (along with the associated heading), with the edit comment "Snelling was not "attacked."". However, definitions of "attack" include:

  • If you attack a person, belief, or idea, or if you launch an attack on them, you criticize them strongly. The union has attacked the plan... He attacked greedy bosses for awarding themselves big rises. ...his response to attacks on his work.[1]
  • strong criticism
    attack on: The book is widely seen as an attack on the education system.
    launch/mount an attack: He was outraged by the personal attacks launched against him.
    be/come under attack: Both candidates have come under attack for their health-care proposals.[2]
  • criticize somebody or something: to subject somebody or something to strong or vehement criticism * The press has repeatedly attacked his plan.[3]
  • when you say something to strongly criticize someone or something[4]

From these, it is seen that there is not a clear-cut distinction between "criticism" and "attack", except for the strength of the criticism. I would consider that the criticism of Snelling amounts to an attack.

No doubt, however, Sterile would object to my reversion of his edit to Richard Dawkins. But they are not the same.

For one thing, I gave three reasons for reverting the Richard Dawkins edit, which involved more than just the criticism/attack change, and the criticism/attack change was not one of them.

Secondly, there is the question of whether the circumstances are comparable. A clear attitude of anti-creationists here is that it's unfair to treat creationists and anti-creationists unequally, without regard to whether they deserve to be treated equally. This itself is a failure of logic. Snelling has been criticised personally (i.e. his character has been criticised), rather than criticism being confined to his arguments, claims, etc. Criticism of Dawkins by leading creationists has largely if not always been respectful of him as a person, and the criticism has been directed to his arguments and claims. Also, Dawkins has resorted to calling creationists names, which you won't find leading creationists doing to Dawkins. So although you could, technically, describe creationist criticism of Dawkins as "attacks", using the same terms of each to imply that each is equally guilty as the other is patent nonsense.

Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:34, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

What? Our friend Conservative is not a leading creationist?!? not a member! 11:35, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
Richard Dawkins hasn't been strongly criticized by creationists? Your dishonesty has been particularly bad since people have been ignoring you. Sterile 12:39, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
What? Our friend Conservative is not a leading creationist?!? Err, no. :-)
Richard Dawkins hasn't been strongly criticized by creationists? That is not what I said. I said that (a) Dawkins' strong criticism of creationists qualifies as "attack", and (b) creationist criticism of Dawkins is of a different order than Dawkins' criticism of creationists. I didn't say that creationist criticism of Dawkins wasn't strong.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:05, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I would favour 'criticism', as it avoids making a value judgement and is thus more appropriate to an encyclopædia. If the nature of the criticisms is explained in sufficient detail, the reader will soon make up his or her own mind whether they constitute attacks or not.
As for presenting two different faces, I'm not sure that is a strong criticism, as I would have thought that any good speaker would tailor his talk to the audience he was addressing.--CPalmer 13:58, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
It's also unreferenced. Just saying. Sterile 16:08, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
CPalmer's point about value judgements and explaining the nature of the criticism is the best argument so far, but value judgements are unavoidable at times, and I believe the word is warranted in this case, although not warranted, I guess, on the basis of the information currently in the article.
As for presenting two different faces, I'm not sure that is a strong criticism... It's not a good reason for a strong criticism, but the criticism was itself strong.
I'll add references when I get time.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 20:11, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
... using the same terms of each to imply that each is equally guilty as the other is patent nonsense. Yup, calling for death is certainly a bit different than suggesting one is not looking at all the facts. Several leading creationists have called for the execution of Dawkins, Thunderfoot and others. Get your big knife out Philip, maybe one will come your way. :) Hamster 23:35, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
...on the basis of the information currently in the article. What information in the article? The specific attacks are not specified and which specific anti-creationists are doing the attacking is not specified. There's no information in the article at all. Sterile 00:22, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Yup, calling for death is certainly a bit different than suggesting one is not looking at all the facts. So name-calling is "suggesting one is not looking at all the facts"?
Several leading creationists have called for the execution of Dawkins, ... Yeah, right. Thunderfoot and others. When I referred to "leading creationists", I was using the definition I gave here.
What information in the article? The specific attacks are not specified and which specific anti-creationists are doing the attacking is not specified. There's no information in the article at all. Please try and read properly. First, there is some information in the article ("claiming that he presented two different faces depending on whether his audience was secular or creationist."), but yes, I agree that there are no specifics. And that is why I said that the word "attack" is "not warranted ... on the basis of the information currently in the article."
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:40, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
P.S. I had already said that I would supply references, and surely that would tell you that I would be supplying specifics, even if only via the reference. Too impatient to wait? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:45, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
OK found the TRUE creationists. Only two groups ? The CMI and its offspring and the ones created by Henry ? You guys should have a picnic together and resolve your differences. Hamster 03:46, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
so Snelling ,clearly states in his article "A 150 Myr period of weathering and erosion followed metamorphism" then , assuming bad faith on the part of his editors, chose not to add a disclaimer of his YEC views on his sole-authored section of what amounts to an encyclopedia, and then says a comment on the apparent duplicity constitutes an attack ? He had the option of declining to prepare the paper but he chose not to. His response to Ritchie {HERE] seems somewhat self serving in that if he truly held Young Earth views its a bit hypocritical to state "In other words, as far as I was concerned I was making it perfectly clear that this is what everyone else believes, and what is the standard wisdom about this ore deposit and its geological setting." and yet his name as a PhD Geologist is on the paper. The statement "...so nothing was hidden from the public in any way. " is also misleading. He explains that the mining company knew his views, the editor knew his views, and yet how would any member of the general public , or even a geologist from another country know of his young earth views ? Hamster 05:31, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Only two groups ? Well, if you want to group then into two groups, then I guess so!
You guys should have a picnic together and resolve your differences. What differences?
...assuming bad faith on the part of his editors... No, being realistic.
He had the option of declining to prepare the paper but he chose not to. So?
The statement "...so nothing was hidden from the public in any way. " is also misleading. ... how would any member of the general public , or even a geologist from another country know of his young earth views ? What should he have done? Sent a letter to everyone in the world letting them know his views? He said that it wasn't hidden; he didn't say that everyone should have known. Further, why would it be necessary? Would it change what people understood from his paper? Would those overseas geologists have cause to think, "Oh, he's a creationist; in that case what he wrote in the paper about geological detail x actually means something different"? No, it would not change their understanding of his paper one iota, so it doesn't matter if they didn't know. The relevant point was that he wasn't trying to hide it; not that some people may not have realised. You're trying to find fault where there is none.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:03, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

It's interesting that Snelling can't present the evidence for creation geology such that his geologist colleagues are convinced of his position. It's also interesting that he uses Ma (million years ago) in his most recent Answers Research Journal article and makes no transition between the two view points. Congnitive dissonance in the same article! Sterile 10:25, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

It's interesting that Snelling can't present the evidence for creation geology such that his geologist colleagues are convinced of his position. Any more interesting than the fact that evolutionists, who we are repeatedly told have all the evidence on their side and who are in the majority, can't present the evidence for evolutionary geology such that their minority creationist geologist colleagues are convinced of their position? Why do anti-creationists use such one-eyed arguments so often?
The "ages" in his paper in the Answers Research Journal are the "ages" given by radiometric dating, not the ages he believes the rock to be. There's no cognitive dissonance; there's you taking the references out of context.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:16, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Why give dates at all, if everything was created on 23 October 4004 BCE? They don't mean anything, and apparently Ma doesn't mean millions of years ago. And why would Snelling write, "Single grain zircon U-Pb determinations yield a mean 207Pb/206Pb age of 744±5 Ma, slightly younger than the Taba Gneiss and thus confirming the field relationships."? Or how about, "Originally thought to be the oldest plutonic assemblage of the area with primary igneous layering well preserved, abundant elongated xenoliths of foliated Elat Schist indicate that the diorite-gabbro intrusion post dated at least part of the schist deformation. This is confirmed by single-grain ... These age determinations are thus consistent with the field evidence that this suite of mafic plutonic rocks intrudes and crosscuts the foliation of the older host Elat Schist, even though these metabasites show varying degrees of deformation and recystallization that occurred subsequent to their intrusion." If "rates were different in the past," such statements are illogical. One can't talk about "older" and "ages" and be a deep-time denialist. It just doesn't work. Sterile 16:30, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
In the context of radiometric dating, everything was not created in 4004 BC (or even thereabouts). Many of the rocks were formed (i.e. had their clocks reset by solidifying from lava) during the flood (and some since also). So the premise of your argument is faulty.
Further, it might well be the case that radiometric dating can be used to give relative dates, even if not absolute dates, at least in some circumstances, in which case they do mean something. Rates being different in the past does not necessarily change this.
One can't talk about "older" and "ages" and be a deep-time denialist. It just doesn't work. But one can, because "older" is a relative term (your father is older than you, but that's got nothing to do with deep time) and "ages" has nothing to do with deep time either (we can determine how much older your father is than you if we can compare each of your ages).
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:23, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
you are absolutely right Philip. one small point though, if I take my known family tree and squish it to fit in a young earth timeline then according to one dating method my grandfather, greatgrandfather and great-great grandfather were all alive at the same time give or take the margin of error, and all my grandparents (greats etc) seemed to be about 3 when they married and died when they were 12. That means logically that either short time is wrong or a large section of my family tree was faked. (or maybe some wierd time bubble happened) Hamster 04:33, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Ummm, yeah? You've just switched from whether the terms are absolute or relative (Sterile's point, which you've agreed is wrong) to whether it's possible to compress the timescale. The fact that the timescale of your family tree cannot be compressed says nothing about whether the geological timescale can be compressed. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:12, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
You (and Snelling, if he is advocating for "relative" isotopic decay) are making the (gasp) assumption that the clocks of different isotopes line up. How could we possibly know that if we didn't observe it in the past? Sterile 10:33, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm not making that assumption at all. Relative dating could be based on comparing dates from different rocks using the same method. Further, I'm not suggesting that even these relative dates are known to be accurate; rather they might be accurate, but any such relative dates would be used as a guide only, not as absolute proof. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:26, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
That is, you have no idea. How convincing! Sterile 14:49, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Ummm, yeah? You've just switched from whether the terms are absolute or relative (Sterile's point, which you've agreed is wrong) to whether it's possible to compress the timescale. The fact that the timescale of your family tree cannot be compressed says nothing about whether the geological timescale can be compressed. I just don't understand this statement at all ? I think you read my comment badly. I do agree with some of your points in the examples you stated , but I believe Sterile is using 'ages' as geological ages, which dont fit any young earth timeline in either absolute dating or relative dating. The cambrian explosion for example at 50-80 million years duration. A timeline is a timeline and dates may be known to be absolute or relative depending on the existance of some event which can be placed accurately. For example if I said my father was at Pearl Harbour on his 25th birthday when the Japanese attacked it fixes my family tree in absolute time. If I attempt to squeeze a timeline to fit an arbitrary scale then one of two things happens. Events known to follow in sequence become shortened to the point that they appear to occur at the same time, and fixed events , like Pearl harbor appear to move. I may have established part of my family tree by 14C dating of wooden tools handed down from parent to child. To avoid for example World War II happening in say January 1992 for two months you then have to establish some sort of effect where recent events dont compress but as you go further back in time the effect increases. We know the times of some specific events such as volcanic eruptions and local floods because they were documented at the time they occured. I agree that you are correct on some points (at least if I have understood them) but you lost the overall picture. If radioactive decay had been much faster in the far past then Adam through Noah perhaps would have died early from extreme radiation poisoning, the Early world would have been extremely warm (melty) and you would not need the moon or stars because of the persistant glow. People would also have been killed by the rapid change in pressure as the clam bed they were harvesting shot up to the top of a mountain, and may have been crushed by subsequent deposition of sediment layers. Slight exageration but not much. I would not expect Sterile to make elementry errors in Science. If I were to disagree with him , I would go back and look again. Hamster 17:00, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
That is, you have no idea. How convincing! And you have no real rebuttal! How convincing!
...I believe Sterile is using 'ages' as geological ages... No, he's not. When he says One can't talk about "older" and "ages" and be a deep-time denialist. he's talking about Snelling's use of the word "ages". So how is Snelling using the term?[5]. Sterile isn't specific as to which time(s) Snelling uses the word, but mostly Snelling seems to be talking about "radiometric ages", as in the abstract: "Their radioisotope ages range from 800–813 Ma to 600 Ma.".
I just don't understand this statement at all ? I think you read my comment badly. ... using 'ages' as geological ages, which dont fit any young earth timeline in either absolute dating or relative dating. By "relative dating", I'm meaning that event A occurred before, simultaneous with, or after event B, without any indication of how much before or after.
If I attempt to squeeze a timeline to fit an arbitrary scale then one of two things happens. Events known to follow in sequence become shortened to the point that they appear to occur at the same time, and fixed events , like Pearl harbor appear to move. That depends on how much you are trying to compress compared with what needs to fit within that timescale. My paternal grandfather was born, from memory, about 58 years before me. If I tried to compress that 58 years to 10 years, then obviously I'm compressing it too much to be possible. But if I tried to compress it to 30 years, then although it might be unlikely, it's not actually impossible (if my father was born when my grandfather was 15 and I was born when my father was 15). So it really depends on how much it can be compressed. You appear to be arguing that creationists are illogically over-compressing, but without actually showing what's illogical about it. So it becomes argument by assertion. Of course part of the argument is how long between events, but another part is how long the events themselves lasted. So creationists don't just believe that the Cambrian explosion occurred within the last 6000 years, but also that it didn't last 50-80 million years (and that's ignoring whether they even believe it occurred at all, which if course they don't).
...you lost the overall picture. I don't see how. But if you are referring to your following comments about radioactive decay, it's not that I've lost the picture, but that I haven't commented on that point because it hasn't been raised (in this discussion).
Regarding that radioactive decay, I offer my personal opinion that it's an unresolved area (which science, especially evolution, has plenty of, so that in itself is not reason to reject the big picture). But it's a recognised problem, hence the creationist proposals that it occurred before life was created and/or during the flood.
I would not expect Sterile to make elementry errors in Science. If I were to disagree with him , I would go back and look again. But I suppose you would expect such errors from me? Hmmm.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:44, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Worldview - rly ?

... and could not be a liar because his Christian worldview prevents it So just to be very very clear, this article states as fact that NO christian can possibly ever lie ? So a Catholic preist who presumably is a christian with a christian worldview could not possibly bugger a little boy , because the bible is sort of against sodomy. Hmmm. carry on . Oh wait, maybe its only Snellings worldview rather than the generic Christian one.. Hamster 01:22, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

anyone have a citation to any published work in a secular science journal ? Hamster 01:32, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh dear. Did you not notice that the wording was added by your fellow protagonist Asp? Criticising Christians for the words that atheists (or whatever) put in their mouths now? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:42, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
sorry Philip, but WHO posted it is less important (really of no importance) , what is significant is the point apparently being made , and perhaps it was subtle irony, which I missed. Hamster 18:10, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Who posted it is very important, insofar as it shows that it was parody, not a genuine claim. Why do you think it's okay to base your argument on, ask for evidence for, and mock on the basis of, parody? Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:25, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
why do you believe it was parody ? are you prejudging someones motives ? it may have been a serious comment, its reasonable that a true christian would in fact honot their wordview by upholding a strict interpretation of their Lords commandments, sadly many dont. Hamster 03:14, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Hampster, are you saying that the line should be reinserted? If you are, I would have to disagree. If you aren't, perhaps this silly side-discussion could be brought to a close. If you want to know the ins and outs of what it was supposed to mean, you're best off contacting Asp directly on her talk page.--CPalmer 10:41, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
just exploring the reasoning behind removal of material CPalmer. One would hate to think that articles were edited based on the personal views of one editor. So the item was removed as parody, and I am asking if it was false information. If it is true it is not parody. As I stated before I dont look at who authored anything because its irrelevant to discussion, unless you presuppose bad faith. Hamster 15:06, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I refrained from replying to your last comment in the hope that you would take CPalmer's suggestion, but as you're persisting, I guess a reply is in order.
It is false information. A worldview does not prevent one from doing things inconsistent with that worldview. People are not always rational, and are sometimes driven by emotions, passions, peer pressure, etc. which sometimes results in them doing things that they know (or believe) that they shouldn't do.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 01:47, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the original statement is false, which is why I don't think it should be reinserted. I assumed that was obvious - to me it seems an absurdity to say that Christians, or anyone, can't possibly lie. I remember getting a bit peeved during a performance of The Crucible because of a similar suggestion made by one of the characters in that play. They didn't half bang on about it as well.--CPalmer 14:57, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Example of why Snelling shows a basic dishonesty , perhaps a parable.

One day Hamster was asked by the Rock Giant Association to write a paper on the morphology of Little Giant State Park using their concepts of geology.

1.Hamster declined stating that his views of non-giant geology dont allow him to do this paper.

2. Hamster said , 'of course I will, pay me now , in advance, small used bills please, ta' Hamster wrote a nice article stating that the large domed feature which appeared to be a granite was actually the exposed cranium of a buried Rock Giant and four narrow granite columns some distance away were his fingers. Attaching the Associations pamphlet to his paper as a reference Hamster thought, 'Ha, I have referenced everything to that pamhlet, so no-one will think these were my views , but rather I am just saying what others think, I'm good HaHa. ' *runs away counting money* For the rest of his career Hamster keeps getting questions about Giganto-cranial features in landscapes from around the world.

srsly, which scenario is ethically superior ? Hamster 15:09, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

So what's the connection between "basic dishonesty" and "ethically superior"? You've moved the goalposts between the heading and the question.
Personally, I've long wished Snelling hadn't used those terms in that paper. It would have been nice if he could have avoided them. But that doesn't make him dishonest, especially given the pressure to conform that mainstream geology applies (a point that your analogy ignores, if for no other reason than you have the analogy back to front in that the geologist is writing in line with a minority view in your story).
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 02:32, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
(try different approach) In my story the person is approached by a company who wants a paper written that conforms to their view of reality and not his own. He has two options, the first is to decline the task explaining that his views do not agree with theirs. The second is to accept the job (money is money) and to arrange the paper so that all claims with which he disagrees are shown to be the beliefs of other people, and not himself. This is certainly NOT clear in the paper at least to me. Referencing any claim made is standard practise for a scientific paper. What is significant in both Snelling and my story is that both are expressing views they do not agree with, and the view they are expressing is that of their employer. Minority or majority view is not relevant in this ethical problem. Should Hamster have refused the job stating "its not a mucking great head , its a natural rock formation" ? Should Snelling have refused saying "that formation was from deposits during Noahs flood and it formed 4000 years ago give or take" ? The idea that a grown man with firm moral and ethical views is pressured into violating his basic beliefs is just silly. Is he 12 ? If you dont understand basic dishonesty and ethically superior then I cant help you. You can split hairs between morality and ethics but in my society they have much the same meanings, they define what one does or does not do. One declines to do that which is immoral or unethical. Note: this is my personal opinion.
side note: the phrase about his worldview was removed apparently by you. Do you believe it to be false ? Hamster 04:55, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Rather than an analogy, I'll tell you a true story. I was once offered a part time job working at a hairdresser's, manning the sales counter. This would have involved selling cigarettes, so I declined, on the grounds that I couldn't concienciously be involved in selling harmful drugs. I believed that this position was "ethically superior" than taking the job. However, I do not believe for one moment that taking the job would have implied that I was "basically dishonest", nor would I be willing to judge someone else for taking the job, nor would I expect any such person to tell every customer that they didn't agree with smoking. I was in a position where I didn't need the job, and could afford to decline, and I would not presume to judge someone else who may not have been as fortunate as me in that respect.
My point is that "ethically superior" is not inversely related to "basically dishonest", despite your attempts to link the two.
Minority or majority view is not relevant in this ethical problem. Despite me pointing out the relevance.
side note: the phrase about his worldview was removed apparently by you. Do you believe it to be false ? See the discussion in the previous section and CPalmer's comment on it.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:21, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
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